by Robert Jensen Ph.D.
When politicians talk economics these days, they argue a lot about the
budget deficit. That’s crucial to our economic future, but in the
contemporary workplace there’s an equally threatening problem -- the
In an economy dominated by corporations, most people spend their work
lives in hierarchical settings in which they have no chance to participate in
the decisions that most affect their lives. The typical business structure is,
in fact, authoritarian -- owners and managers give orders, and workers follow
them. Those in charge would like us to believe that’s the only way to
organize an economy, but the cooperative movement has a different vision.
Cooperative businesses that are owned and operated by workers offer an
exciting alternative to the top-down organization of most businesses. In a time
of crisis, when we desperately need new ways of thinking about how to organize
our economic activity, cooperatives deserve more attention.
First, the many successful cooperatives remind us that we ordinary
people are quite capable of running our own lives. While we endorse democracy
in the political arena, many assume it’s impossible at work. Cooperatives
prove that wrong, not only by producing goods and services but by enriching the
lives of the workers through a commitment to shared decision-making and
Second, cooperatives think not only about profits but about the health
of the community and natural world; they’re more socially and
ecologically responsible. This is reflected in cooperatives’ concern for
the “triple bottom line” -- not only profits, but people and the
by Jonathan Cook in Nazareth
Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, has insisted from the launch of the
current peace talks that the Palestinians set no preconditions, while
making his own precondition the centrepiece of negotiations. Netanyahu
has said talks are futile unless the Palestinians and their leader,
Mahmoud Abbas, first recognise Israel as a Jewish state. “I recognised
the Palestinians' right to self-definition, so they must do the same for
the Jewish people,” he told American Jewish leaders recently.
of the rightwing Likud party, is not the first Israeli leader to make
such a requirement of the Palestinians. His predecessor Tzipi Livni,
leader of the centrist opposition, wanted the same recognition. Ehud
Barak, the defence minister and head of the supposedly left-wing Labor
party, also supports this position.
consensus on this matter, however, masks a reluctance by Israeli
politicians to clarify what exactly is being expected of the
Palestinians and why recognition is so important.
clearly does not simply want the fact of Israel's existence
acknowledged. That is in no doubt and, anyway, the Israeli state has
been recognised by the Palestinian leadership since the late 1980s. It
is recognition of the state's Jewishness, not its existence, that matters.
on this subject focuses on Israel's desire to stifle the threat of a
right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees. Though doubtless a
consideration, that explanation hardly suffices. It is clear to
everyone that the refugees are one of the main issues to be settled in
the negotiations. In the unlikely circumstances that all other obstacles
to Palestinian statehood were removed, it can be assumed that the
international community would work to make that particular mountain a
demand for recognition is directed chiefly at another party: the fifth
of Israel's population who are Palestinian – the remnants of the
Palestinian people who stayed on their land during the great
dispossession of 1948, the nakba, and eventually gained Israeli
are only nominally represented at the talks by their state, Israel.
Instead, Netanyahu hopes to use the promise of statehood to induce Abbas
to sacrifice the interests of Israel's Palestinian citizens. The
Palestinian minority's leaders, who have been lobbying Abbas hard in the
run-up to the talks, understand what Netanyahu's demand for recognition
the early years of the Oslo peace process, when a concession on
Palestinian statehood appeared to be drawing nearer, the positions of
Israel's Palestinian and Jewish leaders polarised. The assumption of
Israeli politicians was that Palestinian citizens would soon either
declare loyalty to a Jewish state – effectively become Zionists – or be
"transferred" to the coming Palestinian state.
by Maidhc Ó Cathail in Japan
seek him here, we seek him there,
Yankees seek him everywhere.
he in heaven?—Is he in hell?
damned, elusive bin Laden
we are to believe the Associated Press, that demmed elusive Osama bin
Laden has spoken again.
world’s oldest and largest newsgathering organization,
the fugitive al-Qaeda leader, who some intelligence experts believe
has been dead since December 2001, has just released an audiotape
in which he calls
for the creation of a new relief body to help Muslims affected by
this summer’s devastating
floods in Pakistan. Bin Laden, AP suggests, is
to exploit discontent … by depicting the region’s
governments as uncaring.”
unfazed by news
of the CIA’s 3,000-strong Counterterrorism
Pursuit Teams hot on its trail, al-Qaeda has, in recent weeks,
according to the AP report, put out three messages, including the one
featuring bin Laden, concerning
massive floods that affected around 20 million people in Pakistan,
a concentrated campaign by the terror group to tap into anger over
the flooding to rally support.”
sole source for the 11-minute tape, with the oddly contemplative
title “Reflections on the Method of Relief Work,” is SITE
Intelligence Group. The U.S.-based group, which purportedly “monitors
jihadi forums,” provided AP with a copy of the message that it
claims was posted on unnamed “Islamic militant websites.”
are questions, however, about whether SITE Intelligence is the most
objective source of information
an Israeli Defense Forces veteran, is an Iraqi-born Jew, whose father
was publicly hanged in Iraq after the 1967 Six-Day War as an Israeli
spy. Considering Tel Aviv’s obvious interest
in having the world’s only superpower fight
a “global war on terror” against the Jewish state’s Muslim
neighbours, it somehow never occurred to Associated Press, or other
mainstream media outlets, to ask the question, Like
father, like daughter?
there are reasonable grounds for suspicion aboutal-Qaeda’s
other pronouncements on the floods in Pakistan.
by Dana Gabriel
The U.S. is stepping up
efforts to gain more influence in Asia-Pacific through participation in
more regional institutions and negotiations on the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) trade deal. U.S. foreign policy seeks to shape the
future of the region in an attempt to dominate economic, political and
There are concerns over the rise of trade
agreements in the Asia-Pacific by U.S. competitors that could greatly
affect its interests. The TPP is seen by many as a key component of
America’s trade strategy for further engagement in the region. A U.S. government fact sheet
describes the TPP as a, “potential platform for economic integration
across the Asia Pacific region. The United States will engage with an
initial group of seven like-minded countries, Singapore, Chile, New
Zealand, Brunei, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam, to craft a platform for a
high-standard, comprehensive agreement - one that reflects U.S.
priorities and values - with these and additional Asia-Pacific
partners.” The TPP is open to other countries with Canada, Malaysia and
the Philippines, among some of the nations that have shown interest in
joining. It has been suggested that the U.S. may want the current eight
partnership countries to reach an initial high-quality agreement before
bringing others into the pact. In an effort to play a more dominant
role, the TPP could be a means to address long-standing U.S. economic
interests in Asia and be used to counter increasing Chinese trade in the
In his article Obama Pledges U.S. Entry Into Pacific Trade Deal
Jim Capo characterized the true nature of the TPP and just how it
relates to a world government system. He concluded that, “The
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is the sister agreement to the
Trans-Atlantic Agenda. Together with NAFTA and the North American
Leaders Summit (new name for the discredited SPP), these deals are
building blocks for an integrated system of global governance managed by
Western financial interests and their collaborators around the world.”
Some remain hopeful that the TPP will be the beginning of a new U.S.
trade model, but there are fears that it could be another NAFTA. A
recent open letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk
signed by a number of activist groups is asking that any negotiated TPP
restrict intellectual property provisions. In addition, they are urging
that accession or adherence to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
(ACTA) not be a requirement of the deal. If things are to change, the
TPP will also need to include strong environmental and labour
protections and exclude harmful NAFTA invest-to-state lawsuit
provisions, as well as financial service deregulation.
In June, the second round of negotiations for the TPP were held in San Francisco
Significant progress was made as discussions examined goals for
improving and expanding the partnership. This includes clarifying, “the
relationship between existing FTAs and the TPP by agreeing member
economies would continue current FTA requirements while adhering to any
higher TPP standards. That determination lays the foundation for how TPP
economies will precede in future negotiations.” Working groups also
addressed a wide range of topics such as agricultural products, business
mobility, cross-border services, intellectual property protection,
financial services and technical barriers to trade, along with other
issues. The next round of talks are scheduled to take place from October
4-9 in Brunei. Since the Obama administration recommitted to the TPP
last year, negotiations have gained momentum and an agreement could be
signed in 2012. Although the TPP is not technically part of the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), it is seen as the potential
foundation for creating one of its goals of a region-wide free trade
In November 2011, APEC leaders will gather in Hawaii where the U.S. could plot a bolder vision for the forum. According to a Statement by the Press Secretary
“The United States will use the opportunity of chairing APEC in 2011 to
highlight the vast potential the Asia-Pacific region holds for American
companies and workers, to help shape the future of Asia-Pacific's
regional architecture, and to promote APEC's core mission of spurring
mutually beneficial regional economic integration.” This year’s APEC
Leaders summit will take place in Yokohama, Japan this November. The Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade
which was held several months back, commended the work that had been
undertaken in key areas of regional economic integration. This includes
sectors such as standards and technical regulations, investment, trade
facilitation, rules of origin, intellectual property rights, as well as
environmental goods and services. They also welcomed progress made to
explore possible pathways to achieve a Free Trade Area of the
Earlier this year, Kurt M. Campbell Assistant
Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs made it clear that
the U.S. seeks to play a more prominent role in the region. In a Statement on Regional Overview of East Asia and the Pacific
he emphasized, “In every regard - geopolitically, militarily,
diplomatically, and economically - Asia and the Pacific are
indispensable to addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities
of the 21st century. As the Asia-Pacific century emerges, defining the
new international environment, the United States must enhance and deepen
its strategic engagement and leadership role in the region.” Secretary
of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s recent Remarks on U.S. Foreign Policy
before the Council on Foreign Relations also lays out America’s
strategy. She stated, “the Asia-Pacific currently has few robust
institutions to foster effective cooperation and reduce the friction of
competition, so we began building a more coherent regional architecture
with the United States deeply involved.” Clinton also added, “the
Asia-Pacific region will grow in importance and developing these
institutions will establish habits of cooperation that will be vital to
stability and prosperity.”
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has become one of the main vehicles for integration in the region. In a Statement By President Obama at the Opening Of the U.S.-ASEAN Leaders Meeting
which took place in New York on September 24, he acknowledged that,
“Through APEC and initiatives like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we’re
pursuing trade relationships that benefit all our countries. And we will
continue to support ASEAN’s goal of creating a more effective and
integrated community by 2015.” He went on to say, “We’ll also focus on
deepening our political and security cooperation.” ASEAN has become a
dominant group and is poised to play a crucial role in the vision for an
Asia-Pacific Union. Further engagement in regards to evolving regional
architecture is really the struggle for more influence. Gaining more
control in Asia-Pacific is important from a geopolitical, economic and
military standpoint. As it continues to grow, the U.S. seeks to play an
active role in shaping the region.
During a trip to Asia last year, Obama proclaimed himself to be America's first Pacific President
and noted the importance of, "multilateral organizations (that) can
advance the security and prosperity of this region." He also asserted,
“As an Asia Pacific nation, the United States expects to be involved in
the discussions that shape the future of this region, and to participate
fully in appropriate organizations as they are established and evolve."
American economic, political and military expansion in Asia-Pacific is
being used to counter growing Chinese influence. The U.S. continues to
strengthen old alliances and forge new partnerships. Through various
joint security exercises, it has increased its military presence in the
area. With the U.S. and China vying for more control, this could further
escalate tensions and lead to a potential confrontation between the two
Dana Gabriel is an
activist and independent researcher. He writes about trade,
globalization, sovereignty, as well as other issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his blog site at beyourownleader.blogspot.com
by Koroush Ziabari in Iran
"Rick Sanchez is no longer with the company. We thank Rick for his
years of service and we wish him well." This frosty statement was the
conclusion of Rick Sanchez's 6-year-long career with the United States'
cable news network, CNN.
The award-winning Sanchez who had served in CNN's Spanish service and
covered the September 11 attacks for the network was fired on October 1
after granting an interview to the Sirius XM's radio show "Stand Up
With Pete Dominick" in which he implied that the Jews are dominating the
mass media in the United States and just pretend to be a downtrodden,
Sanchez criticized CNN's Jewish "Daily Show" comedian Jon Stewart for
directing offensive jokes at him in his nightly programs and called him
a "bigot". Answering a statement by Pete Dominick that Stewart
belonged to a Jewish minority, Sanchez said: "Yeah, very powerless
people. [laughs] He's such a minority. I mean, you know, please.
What—are you kidding? I'm telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a
lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are
a lot like Stewart. And to imply that somehow they, the people in this
country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority?"
The skirmish between the two renowned media personalities became
public when Stewart scoffed at Sanchez who had said in his "Rick's List"
show that he had received a Tweeter message from the House Republican
leader John Boehner. Stewart called it a case of "send a twit a tweet".
Sanchez responded by telling Pete Dominick that Stewart couldn't
tolerate the media achievements of somebody who is of an ethnic
minority: "He's upset that someone of my ilk is almost at his level."
Rick Sanchez explained that he grew up in a poor family whose
members, including his father and mother, were subject to prejudice and
oppression due to their Hispanic ethnicity. He complained that someone
with a sumptuous background such as Jon Stewart can't relate to what he
has experienced during his life.
by Phil Rockstroh
was born, at slightly past the midpoint of the Twentieth Century, in
the Deep South city of Birmingham, Alabama -- “The Heart of Dixie.” My
memories are of a time of societal upheaval and cultural trauma. At the
time, as the world witnessed and history chronicles, Birmingham could
be an ugly, mean place.
My father, employed at the time as a
freelance photojournalist, would arrive home from work, his clothes
redolent of tear gas, his adrenal system locked in overdrive, his mind
reeling, trying to make sense of the brutality he witnessed, perpetrated
by both city officials and ordinary citizens, transpiring on the
streets of the city.
The print and media images transmitted from
Birmingham shocked and baffled the nation as well. But there was a
hidden calculus underpinning the architecture of institutionalized
hatred of the Jim Crow South. The viciousness of Birmingham’s white
underclass served the purpose of the ruling order. The city was
controlled, in de facto colonial manner, by coal and steel barons whose
seat of power was located up the Appalachian mountain chain in
Pittsburgh, PA. The locals dubbed them the Big Mules. They resided in
the lofty air up on Red Mountain; most everyone else dwelled down in the
These social and economic inequities,
perpetuated by exploitive labor practices, roiled Birmingham’s white men
with resentment. If they asked for higher wages, they were told: “I can
hire any n*gg*r off the street for half of what I pay you.” In the
colonial model, all the big dollars flowed back to Pennsylvania, and
economic rivalry and state-codified delusions of racial entitlement,
vis-à-vis Jim Crow Laws, was used to insure the working class white
majority rage at the ruling elite remained displaced -- their animus
fixed on those with even less power and economic security than
themselves. This was the poisoned cultural milieu, wherein George
Wallace’s “segregation today . . . segregation tomorrow . . .
segregation forever” demagogic dirt kicking caused the embedded rage of
the white working class to pour forth like fire ants from a trampled
In a similar manner, manufactured controversies such as the
gay marriage and gays in the military dust-ups of the present time have
little to do with gays or marriage or the military. These issues are
served as red meat to arouse the passions -- and loosen the purse
strings -- of the fear-driven, status quo-enabling, confused souls
residing at the center of the black spleen of the Republican ideological
Although, as a rule, the right’s lies and displacements
are most effective when liberals offer working people only bromides,
platitudes, and lectures on propriety and good taste. Obama and the
Democrats, time and time again, present demagogues with an opening the
size of the cracks in Glen Beck’s gray matter. Hence, the
bigot-whisperers of the right are provided with a void that they can
seed with false narratives; wherein, they are given free reign to cloud
the air and clog the airwaves with palaver about fifth columnist
threats from terrorist-toady mosque builders and gays in uniform
undermining moral in the ranks by belting out show tunes in foxholes and
impromptu shower stall instruction on the art of hand to hand sodomy.
are organic in nature. Combine the elements of the scorched earth
policies of neoliberal capitalism, its austerity cuts and downsizing,
plus the hybrid seeds of the consumer age -- and what alien foliage will
rise from the degraded soil -- fields of right-wing AstroTurf. Add:
industrial strength fertilizer. And see how our garden grows, with: Glen
Beck and Sarah Palin -- the mutant seed sprouted Chia Pets of corporate
Yet the idea of Beck and Palin leading a populist,
pitchforks and torches style uprising in the US is sheer fantasy. Most
Americans wouldn’t rally en mass unless they could bring their couches
with them. It would look like The Prague
Spring but held in a Rooms to Go showroom.
demonstrations, in Washington, DC, attended by the ranks of the
chronically discontent right, are about as populist as a vintage
Soviet-era May Day parade was a celebration of the proletarian masses.
the informal design of our present oligarchs and the self-referential
nature of the corporate owned media, US citizens have the right to say
almost anything that is on their minds, as long as it has little to no
effect on the status quo. If there was ever a mass movement that
effectively challenged the nation’s massive class inequity and
threatened to reign in the excesses of the National Security State, it
would be shut down faster than an open air, live sex show in the middle
of Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
Moreover, the mid-life
snit-fest engendered by the fading political power of the country’s
white, middle class majority, as was the case with the racial resentment
the white underclass of my native Birmingham, serves the agenda of the
moneyed elite. And its goals (which its rank and file seem ill-equipped
to define, i.e., vague resentments and inarticulate rage, hardly
constitutes an agenda for societal transformation and governmental
reform) are equally as self-defeating in their ramifications for
debt-beleaguered, economic security-bereft working people as were the
racist displacement of rage embraced and perpetuated by the exploited,
working class, white majority of the Jim Crow south. Working and middle
class Republicans agitating for lower taxes for the wealthy is as silly
as gaunt peasants, clutching torches and welding pitchforks, besieging
Louis XVI’s palace at Versailles, demanding their bread rations be cut
so that the royal court could enjoy larger and more lavish feasts.
by Ramzy Baroud
September 30, within the time frame of a few hours, an accused man
reportedly confessed to terrorism charges in Germany, the terrorism
threat level was raised in Sweden, and former US Speaker of the House
Newt Gingrich lengthily discussed ‘suicidal jihadists’ in a speech he
made in Denver.
it was tacitly understood that US president Barack Obama has distanced
himself from his predecessor’s indefinite war objectives – embodied in
the ill-defined ‘war on terror’ - the chances are the dreadful term ‘terrorism’ is not going not leave us alone anytime soon.
Regardless of its alleged French roots – dating back to the French revolution of the late 18th
century – ‘terrorism’ is very much a political term and very much a
recent one. US officials, especially those vying for political office,
are very generous in their use of this word. But others - from the most
authoritarian, dictatorial regimes to Scandinavian democracies - have
also developed a special affinity to it. Evoking a threat of terrorism
is a very clever way to achieve political galvanization, as it creates a
sharp and unmistakable delineation between us – the human, civilized
and ‘democratic’ – and the inhuman and barbaric others. When the term
‘terrorism’ is unleashed, there are no half positions, no middle
grounds, no grey areas.
Gingrich could not have formulated a better entrance to the foreign
policy debate than to position himself as America’s savior - not only
from the terrorists, whoever they are, and wherever they are - but also
from America’s incompetent leadership since the attacks of September 11,
2001. According to Gingrich, George W. Bush should have replaced all of
his government’s security apparatus following the dreadful attacks, and
Barack Obama should have done the same following the bomb scare over
Detroit in late 2009.
rightwing politician also conveniently linked Iran to terrorism, coined
new terminologies, fondly recalled the ‘peaceful’ defeat of communism,
derided everyone who doesn’t agree with him, and continued to refuse to
disclose whether he is planning to run for office in 2012.
have been long familiar with Gingrich’s emblematic rants. But they are
also afraid of terrorism. They have been told that terrorism is anything
but a political coinage and endeavor; in fact it is ultimately about a
bomb and two wires, one green and one red. Every aspiring politician
poses as the one who knows exactly which wire to cut. Gingrich moulds
the threat in any way he finds politically useful. Then he exaggerates
the concocted threat and promises to cut the right wire in order to
increase his chances at elections.
of this is fear-mongering at its best. It’s unlikely that Gingrich is
actually interested in bringing the terrorist threat to an end. What
truly inspires his politicking is the fact that he can sustain his
intolerant, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, pro-war and exclusivist
American agenda using one simple, yet loaded phrase: ‘terrorism’.
by Stephen Lendman
Canada, like other Western
countries and Israel, is partnered in America's War on Islam - a
post-9/11 "war on terror" scheme to vilify Muslims as culturally
inferior gun-toting terrorists for political advantage. As a result,
thousands of innocent victims have been lawlessly persecuted, bogusly
charged, imprisoned, tortured, and in some cases extrajudicially
murdered in cold blood.
Two previous articles, among many others, explained what all Muslims face, accessed through the following links:
Mahboob Khawaja, his son Momin and family, are Pakistani Canadians, bogusly targeted for alleged involvement in terrorism.
Dr. Khawaja is an
"academic specializing in Strategic Studies with special interests in
Western-Islamic Civilizations, Change and Conflict Resolution." His
books include "Muslims and the West: Quest for Change and Conflict
Resolution," as well as many published articles, his latest titled
"Fallacy of the 'War on Terrorism.' " Accurately described as a
"self-defeating," inhumane, "cynical framework of greed and tyranny," it
shamelessly perceives Muslims "as the culprits waging war against the
In fact, the opposite is
true. It's been longstanding, then intensified post-9/11 globally,
claiming millions of innocent victims, thousands as political prisoners,
Canada as culpable as America.
Mahboob explained how he and his family were persecuted, saying:
"It was a combined
(American/Canadian/UK) project, my wife and children arrested at
gunpoint in Ottawa while I was working in a university in Saudi Arabia.
My family home was attacked by 50 - 60 armed (Royal Canadian Mounted
Police - RCMP) without any formal search warrant, looking for a bomb,"
but found nothing.
In fact, Mahboob's door
was blown open. Masked RCMP burst in, telling his family to get down on
the floor, then asking "Is your house booby-trapped? Where are the
explosives?" Of course, there were none nor any booby or other traps.
"Simultaneously, I was
arrested in Arabia and jailed for two weeks. The Saudi Intelligence
showed me the formal Canadian request, but (Security) Minister (Anne
McClellan) and the Government in Ottawa denied" sending it. "The
documentary evidence," however, refutes "this public lying." No matter.
The damage was done. Canadian and global media reports destroyed his
"professional career as a professor in global politics," as well as his
son, Momin's, as a software developer.
by Joel S. Hirschhorn
In trying to understand how so many Americans adore people like Glenn
Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh I have come to this critical
understanding: Poorly educated, terribly informed, intellectually deficient and
downright stupid people need idols.
They feel angry, frustrated, ignored, cheated and disillusioned by so
much going on in American society.
They find the emotional, political and philosophical rants by talk show,
loud mouth celebrities matching and justifying their feelings. Of course, those celebrities work hard
to fan the flames of all that unhappiness and discontent, and also perpetuate
ignorance and hate. They sell
stupidity to gullible dummies, teaching them who to blame for their
I am no conservative or liberal and I know I sound terribly condescending
and will be viewed as an elitist by those dummies, not that they read much by
those they do not idolize. However,
I have spent considerable time following what these demon idols say and write to
seriously investigate whether I might be missing something of value. But all I see are huge quantities of
totally incorrect and distorted information, absolute nonsense, outright
insanity, abuse of logic, exaggerations, toxic half truths, intentional
disinformation, racism and bigotry, and extreme political views that have no
connection to reality and offer no workable solutions to the nation’s complex
problems. Slick sound-bite slogans
push propaganda substitutes for verifiable facts.
How to understand how so many people can listen to such celebrities and
not feel as nauseous as I and so many other Americans feel when listening to
them? Clearly we must accept the
disturbing fact that there are many millions of suffering Americans that are
mental midgets, a sign of the dumbing-down of America. No surprise really when you remember
there are millions of people wasting their money on gambling, lottery tickets,
cons and scams, junk products and unhealthy foods, or unable to qualify for
decent jobs because of a lack of knowledge and skills. Either they were born stupid (a harsh
but true statistical reality) or the many ups and downs of life have robbed them
of any critical thinking ability to see through the idiocy that these purveyors
of poison peddle while making obscene millions of dollars.
Consider recent Pew Center Research poll
results that showed 18 percent of
Republicans do not know that the Democrats control the House of Representatives
and 35 percent do not know who the Vice President is. Research
has found Fox
News butchers facts and its devotees are the most ignorant, and in recent years
Republicans have overwhelmingly gone to Fox
to get their
news and information. Note: 80
percent who regularly listen to Rush Limbaugh or watch Sean Hannity are
conservative. I’m not saying that
“No truth, just spin” should be the Fox motto, but it sure fits.
by James Petras Ph.D.
abortive military-police coup in Ecuador, which took place on
September 30, has raised numerous questions about the role of the US
and its allies among the traditional oligarchy and the leftist social
movements, Indian organizations and their political parties.
President Correa and all governments in Latin America, and
significant sectors of the Ecuadorian public described the violent
actions as a coup, the principle organ of Wall Street – The Wall
Street Journal – described it as a “police protest”. Spoke
persons for Goldman Sachs and the Council of Foreign Relations
referred to the police and military power grab against the
democratically elected government as a self-induced “political
crises” of the President. While the coup was underway the “Indian”
movement CONAIE, launched a manifesto condemning the government,
while the “Indian” party Pachakutik supported the ouster of the
President and backed the police coup as a “just act of public
summary, the imperial backers of the coup , sectors of the Ecuadorian
elite and Indian movement downplayed the violent police uprising as a
coup in order to justify their support for it as just another
“legitimate economic protest”. In other words, the victim
of the elite coup was converted into the repressor of the peoples’
will. The factual question of whether their was a coup or not, is
central to deciding whether the government was justified in
repressing the police uprising and whether in fact the democratic
system was endangered.
Facts about the Coup
police did not simply “protest” against economic polices, they
seized the National Assembly and attempted to occupy public buildings
and media outlets. The air force – or at least those sectors
collaborating with the police – seized the airport in Quito,
concerted actions seizing and blocked strategic transport networks..
President Correa was assaulted and seized and kept hostage under
police guard by scores of heavily armed police, who violently
resisted the Special Forces who eventually freed the president
resulting in scores of wounded and ten deaths. Clearly the leaders
of the police uprising had more in mind that a simple “protest”
over cancelled bonuses – they sought to overthrow the president and
were willing to use their firepower to carry it off. The initial
economic demands of public sector employees were used by the coup
leaders as a springboard to oust the regime.
fact that the coup failed is, in part, a result of the President’s
vigorous and dramatic appeal to the people to take to the streets to
defend democracy - an appeal, which resonated with thousands of
supporters and denied the coup makers public support in the streets.
facts on the ground all point to a violent attempt by the police and
sectors of the military to seize power and depose the president –
by any definition a coup. And so it was immediately
understood by all Latin American governments, from right to
left, some of whom immediately closed their frontiers and threatened
to break relations if the coup leaders succeeded. The only exception
was Washington – whose first response was not to join in the
condemnation but to wait and see what would be the outcome or as
presidential spokesperson Philip Crowley announced “we are
monitoring events”, referring to the uprising as a “protest”
challenging the government. When Washington realized that the coup
was actively opposed by the Ecuadorian public, all the Latin American
governments, the bulk of the armed forces and doomed to failure,
Secretary of State Clinton called Correa to announce US “backing”
for his government, referring to the coup as merely an “interruption
of the democratic order”.
the run-up to the restoration of democracy, the trade unions were by
and large passive observers, certainly no general strikes were
discussed or even active mobilizations. The response of top military
officials in the army were by and large opposed to the coup, except
perhaps in the air force which seized the principle airport in Quito,
before handing it over to anti-drug units of the police force. The
anti narcotic police were in the forefront of the coup and not
surprisingly were under intense US training and indoctrination for
the past five years.
by Gilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon (Hebrew: גלעד עצמון, born June 9, 1963) is a jazz
musician, author and anti-Zionist activist who was born in Israel and
currently lives in London.
"Anti-Semite is an empty signifier, no one actually can be
Anti-Semite and this includes me of course. In short, you are either a
racist - which I am not - or have an ideological disagreement with
Zionism... which I have."
He was born a secular Israeli Jew in Tel Aviv, and trained at the
Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. His service in the Israeli military
convinced him Israel had become a militarized state controlled by
religious extremists. In 1994, Atzmon emigrated from Israel to London,
where he studied philosophy. Atzmon is an anti-Zionist who critiques Jewish identity issues and
supports the Palestinian Right of Return as well as the establishment of
a single state in Israel/Palestine. He is a signatory to the
"Palestinians are the Priority Petition" which states “full and
unconditional support of the Palestinian people is a condition sine qua
non for activists to adopt.
Following Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman’s address at the UN last week, Aluf Benn wrote in Haaretz:
the past few weeks, Netanyahu invested a great deal of effort in trying
to convince the leaders of the world that he is serious about peace
with the Palestinians. He asked them to ignore the resumption of
settlement construction, and convinced Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas not to quit the negotiations.
comes Lieberman, Israel’s most senior diplomat, and tells all those
leaders that… Netanyahu is faking. Even worse: the foreign minister is
implying that Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel
as a Jewish state is merely cover for the expulsion of Arab citizens.”
Barak and many other Israelis are often ‘outraged’ by FM Lieberman. I
guess that Israelis grasp that their senior diplomat exposes the
Israeli ploy: when Israelis talk peace -- what they really mean is war
with no end. When Israeli government spokesmen insist that Lieberman
“misrepresents Israeli Government’s policies” -- what they really mean
is that he fails to repeat the Israeli official lies. As it stands,
Lieberman’s UN speech few days ago, conveys not only Israeli cabinet
vision, it is also a devastating glimpse into the Israeli mindset,
worldview and spirit. Lieberman is a transparent image of the Israeli
desire for racial and cultural homogeneity. Many Israelis claim to
detest him and his ideas: but my guess is that they grasp that Lieberman
is actually their true mirror. Otto Weininger wrote in “Sex &
Character” that people hate in others that which they detest in
themselves. Many Israelis ostensibly oppose Lieberman because he reminds
them of the bigot whom they can’t stand in themselves. Some people do
not like to look in the mirror; others are devastated when the mirror
gazes back at them with pity.
“We, the Israelis are united”, Lieberman told the UN assembly ,
“now we have a stable coalition, stable government and we have the
support of a majority of Israel's citizens.” Lieberman is obviously
correct: the Israelis are now more united than ever. In fact, there is
no political opposition in Israel except from the Arab parties. Yet,
“we are not ready to compromise our national security or the vital
interests of the State of Israel” Lieberman continued.
says it all : unlike the rest of humanity who regard the concept of
peace as a means towards reconciliation and harmony, for Lieberman --
and in fact for every Israeli politician I can think of -- the word
‘peace’ only translates as ‘security for the Jews’
by Stephen Lendman
Foreign Minister and
Deputy Prime Minister Lieberman represents the worst of Israel's lunatic
fringe, sort of a combination Dick Cheney/John McCain/Joe Lieberman,
too extremist to be entrusted with power, but he's got it.
On March 18, 2008 in the
London Independent, Robert Fisk headlined, "Why Avigdor Lieberman is the
worst thing that could happen to the Middle East," saying:
"....Israelis have exalted
a man....who out-Sharons even Ariel Sharon. A few Palestinians (said)
the West will see the 'true face' of Israel. (He's) talked of drowning
Palestinians in the Dead Sea or executing Israeli Palestinians who
talked to Hamas. (His) incendiary language (promotes)
executions....drownings....hell and loyalty oaths," perfect for the
role he's assumed, allied with Israel's most extremist ever Prime
Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also out-Sharons Sharon, no easy feat
by any means.
On September 20, Haaretz
writer Akiva Eldar headlined, "Freeze Lieberman," referring to his
opposition to a settlement freeze, telling Israeli Radio that his party
(Yisrael Beiteinu) has enough power to stop it and much more, including
obstructing meaningful peace talks.
Eldar's conclusion -
"There is no excuse for Netanyahu to keep the man and his party" as part
of his coalition government. He's an embarrassment, but for that
matter, so is Netanyahu and Israel's most extremist ever Knesset, a
topic earlier writing addressed.
On August 2, 2009, Haaretz
writer Gideon Levy headlined, "Kahane won," referring to extremist
Rabbi Meir Kanane and his racist Kach Party, banned by Israel in 1988
under a law passed to disqualify him and his zealots. Later in 1994,
after the Cave of the Patriachs massacre (committed by Kach member
Baruch Goldstein), it was the first Jewish organization in more than 40
years to be called a "threat to security" and outlawed.
Levy said he "can rest in
peace." He's been resurrected. "His doctrine has won....Kahanism has
become legitimate in public discourse....racism and nationalism (have
been transformed) into accepted values."
If Kahane ran for office
today, "not only would (he and others in his party) not be banned,
(they'd) win many votes....the ostracized is now accepted, the
detestable has become the talented - that's the slippery slope down
which Israeli society has skidded over the past two decades."
In his youth, Lieberman
was a Kach party member. He "was and is a Kahanist. The differences
between Kach and Yisrael Beiteinu are miniscule, not fundamental and
certainly not a matter of morality."
by Sherwood Ross
The U.S. today is
threatening to attack Iran “under the completely bogus pretext” that it might
have a nuclear weapon, a distinguished American international legal authority
administration officials, like those of the Bush regime before it, say “all
options are on the table,” they are threatening nuclear war and that is
prohibited by international law, says Francis Boyle, professor of international
law at the University of Illinois at Champaign.
Not only has the
International Atomic Energy Commission said this charge against Iran “is simply
not true,” Boyle pointed out, but threatening Iran with nuclear war in itself
constitutes an international crime.
“If we don't act
now, Obama and his people could very well set off a Third World War over Iran
that has already been threatened publicly by (President George W.) Bush Jr.,” he
In a speech on
nuclear deterrence to the 18th conference on “Direct Democracy” in
Feldkirch, Austria, Boyle said it has been estimated an attack on Iran with
tactical nuclear weapons by the U.S. and Israel could kill nearly 3-million
by William A. Cook Ph.D.
goal is two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in
peace and security,” (President Obama) such is the illusion that
resurfaces to restart the peace negotiations that will stabilize the
mid-east. For 63 years that “goal” has been the carrot held
before the people of the United States and Britain as the ultimate
resolution for the Israeli/Palestinian crisis."
In reality there is
nothing in the statement that is true.
Israeli government, from its inception in May of 1948 to now, has
never had as its “goal” two peoples in two states living in peace
and security. Indeed,
the opposite has been true: “What should be obvious now, after the
carefully researched and scholarly work of Dr. Pappe (The
Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine)
and …Dr Morris (Righteous
…complemented now with the materials preserved by Sir Richard C.
Catling, is the truth about the creation of the State of Israel: the
acceptance of UN Resolution 181 by the Jewish Agency Provisional
Government as the designated Jewish State was not done with intent to
abide by the goal of the UN General Assembly—to provide a state for
two peoples in the land of Palestine—but rather to use it as a
means to gain eventual control of all the land and cleanse that land
of its indigenous people to whatever extent possible.” (The
Plight of the Palestinians 6).
In truth the Jewish Agency, from 1939 to the Declaration of the
establishment of the State of Israel, acted as a colonial power
taking by force the land of the indigenous peoples and maintains that
policy to the present day. Jeff Halper tracks over nineteen illusory
“peace proposals” aborted by the Israeli government in his
detailed article “The Problem with Israel” (11-23-2006 in The
Plight of the Palestinians).
the Israeli government never had as a “goal” peace with the
people, the facts on the ground today clearly establish the
consequences of the Israeli intent to eradicate the possibility of a
Palestinian State. A cursory look at a map of what remains to the
Palestinians now demonstrates the impossibility of a viable state.
by Mel Seesholtz Ph.D.
mainstream and alternative media (in the U.S. and Europe)
covered the late September suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler
ABC’s Good Morning America reports that
prosecutors in New Jersey are considering hate-crime charges for Dharun Ravi
and Molly Wei, the Rutgers University students who live-streamed the gay sexual
encounter of fellow freshman Tyler Clementi, who later killed himself by
jumping off the George Washington Bridge. …
GMA reports evidence on Twitter, where Ravi told his
followers about having a gay roommate before school even started. He directed
readers to a profile on JustUsBoys.com, where subsequently Clementi, posting
under the handle “cit2mo,” appears to have complained about invasions of
privacy via a video camera in his dorm room.
At a press conference Thursday, New Jersey governor
Chris Christie, an avowed opponent of marriage equality, said, “I don’t know
how those two folks are going to sleep at night, knowing that they contributed
to driving that young man to that alternative.”
Tyler Clementi's suicide, which was apparently
triggered by the Rutgers University freshman's roommate allegedly posting a
video of Clementi being intimate with another man online, has set off a
national debate on the dangers of cyberbullying and the struggles of young gays
and lesbians who are taunted by their peers. …
by Norman Solomon
Autumn 2010 is a time of disillusionment for many who deplore the USA’s
current political trajectory. Some who’ve been active for progressive
causes are now gravitating toward hope that individual actions -- in
tandem with higher consciousness, more down-to-earth lifestyles and
healthy cultural alternatives -- can succeed where social activism has
failed. It’s an old story that is also new.
From economic inequities to global warming to war, the nation’s
power centers have repulsed those who recognize the urgency of
confronting such crises head-on. High unemployment has become the new
normal. Top officials in Washington have taken a dive on climate change.
The warfare state is going great guns.
When social movements seem to be no match for a destructive status
quo, people are apt to look around for alternative strategies. One of
the big ones involves pursuing individual transformations as keys to
social change. Forty years ago, such an approach became all the rage --
boosted by a long essay that made a huge splash in The New Yorker
magazine just before a longer version became a smash bestseller.
The book was “The Greening of America,” by a Yale University Law
School teacher named Charles Reich. In the early fall of 1970, it
created a sensation. Today, let’s consider it as a distant mirror that
reflects some similar present-day illusions.
On the front cover of “The Greening of America,” big type
proclaimed: “There is a revolution coming. It will not be like
revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual and with
culture, and it will change the political structure only as its final
That autumn, I was upbeat about Reich’s new book -- including its
great enthusiasm for “the revolution of the new generation.” (Hey, that
was me and my friends!) The book condemned the war, denounced the
overcapitalized Corporate State, panned the rigidity of schools, lauded
the sensuality that marijuana was aiding, and dismissed as pathetically
venal the liberalism that had driven the country to war in Vietnam.
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